GreenbuildEXPO and the Green Deal

On the 8th and 9th May 2013, Manchester Central hosted the GreenbuildEXPO, which was sponsored by Manchester City Council, which I attended on the 8th.  On initially walking around the various stands, the one thing that struck me was, that it was all geared up for the Green Deal.  I did overhear someone saying that Green Deal advisor’s must tell people that they receive a payment of £150, I wonder how many do?

The opening speech was by Ashley Crumbley, CEO of Wigan and Leigh Housing Company and on the board of Greater Manchester’s Low Carbon Economy Board.  He stated how great it was that the Government is going down the road of supporting Biomass (Why? Biomass is neither green or sustainable: Biomass myths).  Then he talked about Greater Manchester’s Carbon Hub of which he was a member and of the leadership of Sir Richard Leese (What leadership, he is taking part in a government initiative and it was Nottingham that led the way on Climate Change over a decade ago.  That is playing at ‘follow the leader’ not leadership).  He then went on to talk about Kevin Anderson, who keeps scaring us (as if what Kevin was saying was some sort of joke).  He mentioned that 2 degree C, is the limit between dangerous and very dangerous climate change!  And that Manchester is working to accelerate into reducing carbon emissions (where?).  He then went onto state the business case is still not clear.  Executives do not think there is clear guidance and also the finances are not there and of the cost of borrowing.  (What happened to Leese’s leadership?  If you save energy, you save money, simple and cost of borrowing when it is the lowest it has ever been, except those on the Green Deal, who is he kidding).  He than mentioned Greater Manchester is the second largest growing hub outside of London.  He lastly mentioned a Japanese organisation (what happened to Leese’s leadership, that a foreign organisation has to be brought in, to lead?  What about all the innovation that is supposed to be happening in Corridor Manchester and Manchester Science Park?) NEDO, who are setting up a eco-community trial, maybe in 2014?

I have thought for some time this ‘Green Deal’ only benefits large companies, especially the big 6. People are struggling to pay their energy bills and many in Manchester suffer from fuel poverty. Going to the GreenBuild Expo in Manchester only reinforced this impression. Then I read a letter in the Architects’ Journal’s Annual Green issue (28.02.13): Green Deal: costly…

‘Regarding your article about the Green Deal (AJ 31.01.13), I’ve felt like a little boy who told the Emperor he was in his underpants. I have worked as an architect on all types and sizes of projects, both public and private sector, I have recently attended many Green Deal-related workshops and seminars. I also sit on the Small Practice Committee at RIBA, where the Green Deal has been discussed at length. Here are my thoughts on the topic: The Green Deal seems to be a very expensive way to fund improvements, with the only beneficiaries being the City (via high-interest loans), the government (collecting VAT and meeting carbon reduction targets), assessors, suppliers and installers (making normal profit margins) and private energy firms, which will be almost encouraged by the government to increase rates to make the ‘Golden Rule’ work. The Green Deal appears to be aimed at people who do not have the money to pay for improvements up-front (which would be cheaper), but the government assumes these same people will have enough money to pay vastly higher energy bills. Property values could be adversely affected by Green Deal alterations and outstanding debt that will be attached to the property.  I would not want to buy a house with a charge on it, so assume no one else would, either.  My guess much of the equipment being promote now could be obsolete in less than 5 years – long before it is paid for.  I have not heard mention of Building Regs Approval of Green Deal improvements.  I have recently…’ Marianne Davys, Marianne Davys Architects.

I can only agree with Marianne’s comments but go further and say the emperor is absolutely stark naked and possibly stark raving mad.

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